/FROM THE BLOG:
nearly became the title of my book because without my father ever knowing, it was his gambling friend/bookie who helped sow the seeds of my eventual destruction.My father wasn’t there for my Missouri “hero” moment that came but he was there many times when I had games that were heart breakers. Losing at anything has always made me uncomfortable and disappointed. He didn’t always give words of encouragement like a high school game that I remember vividly. It was the Jasper “Wildcats” verses Vincennes game played at Jasper in my senior year where my scoring 38 points wasn’t enough to win the game. We had come back from 25 points down only to lose at the wire in overtime. Getting home at about midnight tired and frustrated, dad put me through two more hours of cross exams about the times I should have put the game away and failed to do it.
I remember thinking dad must have lost a lot of money on the game but we never ever talked of that night again.
Dad was well known in my hometown area as a “big”gambler. Growing up, I caddied for my father in many high-stakes golf competitions at our local course, Vincennes Elks Country Club. During the years 1954-57, I was often caddying in a group that would have as much as $10,000 pass hands between four gamblers. One of the group had control of all area “slots” that we called “one-arm bandits” because if you played them long enough you’d leave without your week’s pay check. He was an athletic handsome type who was always well dressed. He carried a bank roll that would choke a horse. Mr. “W” as I called him had many run-ins with the mob boys who traveled highway 41 from Chicago, Illinois down south through Indiana past Terre Haute then Vincennes going to Evansville and on to some Kentucky horse turf. His second business was pinball machines which dotted the landscape at any and every possible place where one could fit into a willing operator’s establishment corner. The second of the three local gamblers was a rather short rotund stocky businessman. Among his many talents was “blowing” in a tube to create advertising lighted signage designs for area retail outlets. He didn’t hit the ball very far but his bets always handicapped to his favor and oh how he could chip and putt to finish off a gambling wager. Mr. “RG” was his name to me. Of course, my dad was the third member of the famous area gambling amigos. While they often bet among themselves that was not the norm. There was one man who brought these three friends into high-stakes gambling. That man was “HC” to me. He lived 60 miles south just off highway 41 in Evansville, Indiana. I often heard him say he was an oil man and that was his way of making “fun” money he’d say with a chuckle. But, when he wasn’t around, dad and his two gambling buddies said Mr. “HC” went to Vegas to refill his pockets. Maybe he owned a casino or ran book there, I could never establish what they meant by it all.
One day on the ninth hole at the French Lick Hill golf course, Mr. “W” told Mr. “HC” his ball was just outside the white stakes, meaning it was definitely out of bounds for a two stroke penalty. They argued a lot and soon Mr. “HC” walked over to his golf cart. Reaching over the back seat next to his body guard who always drove, out came a gun. He pointed that weapon at “W’s” temple and said, “I said that my ball is in bounds.” There were no birds singing and the wind stopped breathing. Everyone thought blood would soon paint those white stakes red. Then, “W” replied, “You know, I can see that now!” The three gambling amigos won all bets on the back nine. It was believed that “HC” became very nervous knowing he almost killed a man over a $600 dollar bet. They never talked of the matter around me but somehow the story got out. Surprise Surprise, the bets got bigger and their gambling became more frequent after that day. Opportunities to win another person’s money cloud a fella’s judgement, I guess. Big time gambling will do that.
After graduating from GT, I met Mr. HC” again. This time, it was in his Evansville home. His bodyguard took me from the front door through a high sealing foyer under a magnificent sparkling chandelier and left me standing in front of two huge, very tall, mahogany doors. Opening them took more than a little strength. Upon doing so, I came face to face with “HC” who was staring straight at me from his brown leather, large armed, recliner. He was about a 45 foot putt away waiting to hear my canned flip chart life insurance pitch after which he chuckled and told me I had my dad’s salesmanship and would do well. He proceeded to pat his right pocket and say that he had all the insurance he needed with him at all times. A few weeks later in July of 1964, the Evansville Courier told the story of “HC” shooting a man over a gambling debt amounting to a few hundred dollars. I was told that the man bled to death from a leg wound while laying prostrate between those two mahogany doors. Gamblers can be dangerous when you try to take their roll of money. Love of money is the root of all evil, the Bible says.
Another big game disappointment in my life that my father witnessed was when I missed two different one-on-ones and a bunny lay-up that would have beaten the 10th ranked college team in the nation. All that happened in a span of seventy-six seconds. Can you believe it? I ended up being tagged “the goat” by local sports writers in Atlanta, Georgia. That sad story will be shared later in my book. It became a part of my coach’s misguided conspiracy minded circumstantial evidence that would contribute to my career ending decision he would make.
Frank E. Landrey
For a signed copy of a new book about my childhood dream come true story and my Georgia Tech “hero to goat” F.B.I. experience, career cut short explanation, that brought with it a near fatal life ending event email me at LUGolf@aol.com. Request a signed copy for a $15.00 donation to Missions In Action, a 501c3 foundation. They will use your donation to cover book costs and to help folks find “good news” for their life.
Supposedly, this came straight from a cardiologist doctor.
Take it for what it’s worth.
Did you know that drinking water at certain times maximizes its effectiveness?
2 glasses of water after waking up – helps activate internal organs
1 glass of water 30 minutes before a meal – helps digestion
1 glass of water before taking a bath – helps lower blood pressure
1 glass of water before going to bed – avoids stroke or heart attack
1 glass of water at bed time will also help prevent night time leg cramps.
Have a happy life… now that you will live longer.
Continue to pray for the Good LORD’s Mercy and Grace for your long life. He can cut it short.
Jesus Christ is the only source for you to have the “living” water that never stops giving.
Your Bible Quiz for Today: Read Hebrews 9:27, John 3:16, Romans 3:23, and Matthew 25:46…
(1) Bible Study Quiz: What is it that you get when you do what the above Bible study says to do? Don’t look down at bottom of page until you have read verses and given your answer.